What Pokémon Go Teaches Us About Capitalism

by Mark Tovey

Pokémon Go, an extremely popular mobile game released last month, uses the GPS and camera on players’ phones to turn the real world into an adventure land filled with cartoon creatures, called Pokémon, which can be found and caught by exploring real-world places and throwing Pokéballs at them before other players do the same.

The most common varieties of Pokémon (Rattatas, Pidgeys, Jigglypuffs, etc.) turn up everywhere and in great abundance, and so seldom lead to dust-ups between ambitious Pokémon trainers. Anyone who downloads the app is likely to find these so-called normal-type Pokémon inside their own homes, ready to be caught from the comfort of the couch.

Rare Pokémon necessarily require more work to catch. The real world has been divided up into biomes by the game’s creators, meaning different types of Pokémon tend to stay in specific areas. For example, grass-type Pokémon are usually found in verdant places, like parks, farms, and forests.

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